Pet Allergies…I Mean…Allergies in Pets

Three weeks ago, I walked into Petco to get a few things for my 12 year old Australian shepherd…and there she was.  A local shelter was having an adoption day, and a little, white puppy made her way over to me, climbed up to reach my nose, and gave it a thorough licking.  As I type this, that little white puppy – Willow – is curled up on my lap.  Nothing like a little impulsivity on occasion!

Willow

I had bought her a puppy chow recommended by the people at Petco, but within hours of her first meal here, her belly was not happy.  I had also bought her what I thought were healthy training treats…which only made things worse.  Making a long story short, our veterinarian believes it to be a sensitivity to something in the food.  At the end of our appointment, he commented on the incredible increase in food allergy in dogs.

Well – as you can imagine, this struck a nerve.  My Aussie, at 10 years old, suddenly developed an allergy to his dog food too. (I now have to spend a fortune on a special blend.)  Fortunately, Willow only needed me to switch brands and the issue cleared up.  Still, what on earth?!

Being me, I decided to delve into the question a little deeper.  Believe it or not, information on this was actually hard to find.  I found plenty on the increased rates of people’s allergies to their pets…but not very much at all on the rates of allergy in pets themselves.  But I did finally find an article[i] on CNN’s website:

“Allergies are on the rise in humans and in animals, said Cliff Bassett, an allergist/immunologist with the Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn, New York.”

The article claims that 10% of dogs now are diagnosed with allergy.  And why not? Dogs are (mis)treated the same as humans – excessive antibiotics, low quality diets, too often a lack of exercise, etc.  I asked our vet for a good probiotic for Willow and Apollo.  And I am researching a good prebiotic now too.  After all, our pets’ biomes are just as depleted as ours.

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[i] http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/26/pet.allergies/


2 thoughts on “Pet Allergies…I Mean…Allergies in Pets

  1. Congratulations on your new dog! Please look into feeding raw food – whole animal (organs, bone, etc).

    My animals (cat and dog) have been eating raw for 8 years. No itch, no allergies. They love their raw bones. Whole fish. Chicken necks, and carcass. Vegies, fruit, berries. I also feed the dog cooked potatoes (good starch and resistant starch), sweet potatoes.

    The cat doesn’t need any extra water, it’s always available but he gets all his liquid from his raw diet. The dog does drink water, but only on occasion. No human would live on dry-compressed food, which is supposed to magically re-hydrate in the stomach. The raw bones are especially good for their teeth.

    Be super careful with vaccines. Once is plenty. As with humans, abuse of vaccinations and anti-biotics is leading to human type illnesses.

    All the best!

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  2. I was reading today, Natasha, that dogs are actually “scavenger carnivores,” and not omnivores as I’d always thought. When Willow’s stomach was upset by the new puppy chow, my vet had me feed her boiled chicken. I certainly would consider doing some reading on feeding my dogs raw meat. After all – that is what they ate in their natural environment. And yes, I was told by the dog trainer at Petco that it’s fine to give dogs raw bones – good for their teeth. RE: vaccines – I am having our vet draw titers on Thursday. 🙂

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